Committee: Timing Not Right for Trojan Football Program

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 10:37 am   2 min read

A committee appointed to review the findings of a football feasibility study for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has recommended that the university hold off on establishing a football program.

The committee made its recommendation in a memo sent Wednesday to UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson, following an 18-month study and review process.

"While a football program could be a positive addition to the university and the city, by unanimous opinion, our group recommends that now is not the right time to start a football program," the memo reads.

The committee cited two reasons for its recommendation. It said establishing a football program must be a part of the university's strategic master plan, with clear goals and "data-informed strategy" for a long-term funding model and infrastructure.

It also said the university should focus on raising the quality and investment in its current 15 intercollegiate athletic programs, including a new wrestling program beginning this fall.

The committee, appointed by Rogerson, included representatives from the UA Little Rock Board of Visitors, Trojan Advisory Council, Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, Little Rock mayor's office and UA Little Rock faculty and staff.

The study they reviewed was conducted over nine months by Convention Sports & Leisure, CarrSports Consulting LLC, Heery Sports and the Grant Group. Announced in summer 2017, the study was sponsored by the university, the Little Rock mayor's office and the state parks and tourism department.

"When we embarked on this study, we went into it with an open mind," Rogerson said. "I am grateful for the community participation by our city, faculty, staff and students which has led us to a recommendation based on research and sound data. I am excited about the future of athletics at UA Little Rock and what Division I athletics means to the capital city and our campus community."

"While football may not be in our immediate future, we look forward to the continued growth of our 15 sports programs," Chasse Conque, vice chancellor and director of athletics, said in the news release. "I strongly believe Trojan Athletics is in a position to rally our campus community and city, and I am confident our best days are still ahead."



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